DENTON, Texas - D.J. Stewart Jr. buried the game-winning three-pointer from the top of the key in the closing seconds to catapult the Mississippi State men's basketball team to a hard-fought 68-67 victory over Richmond during Thursday's NIT Quarterfinals at the UNT Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (17-14) advance to face either Louisiana Tech (22-7) or Western Kentucky (21-7) in Saturday's NIT Semifinal round. Tip time is set for 2 p.m. CT from the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas. The game will be televised by ESPN and available online courtesy of the Watch ESPN app.
Stewart Jr. delivered 17 of his game-leading 22 points and canned all 10 of his free throws attempts during the second half. He scored Mississippi States last seven points of the game over the final 1:35, including hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left.
The 22 points for Stewart Jr. matched the fourth-most by a MSU player during a NIT game. It also marked Stewart Jr.'s eighth game of 20-plus points on the season.
The Grace, Mississippi native also handed out five assists and added a pair of steals. Stewart Jr.'s game-winning triple was State's second in as many NIT trips. Quinndary Weatherspoon also had a game-clinching trey during the final seconds of a 78-77 triumph over Baylor on March 18, 2018.
Iverson Molinar notched 16 of his 18 points during the first 20 minutes against Richmond. He was an efficient 7-of-10 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and two assists.
Abdul Ado worked his way to eight points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, followed by Quinten Post's six points. Javian Davis made his first start of the season filling in for the SEC's leading rebounder, Tolu Smith. He tacked on five points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.